Ancient Monuments

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Enclosure with hut circles south-east of Eastern Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Sheepstor, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4803 / 50°28'48"N

Longitude: -3.995 / 3°59'41"W

OS Eastings: 258550.515197

OS Northings: 66394.1742

OS Grid: SX585663

Mapcode National: GBR Q3.05MN

Mapcode Global: FRA 27JS.FFQ

Entry Name: Enclosure with hut circles south-east of Eastern Tor

Scheduled Date: 11 June 1965

Last Amended: 19 February 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010651

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10711

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sheepstor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This enclosure lies on a south-east facing slope above the north bank of the
River Plym and below Eastern Tor. It is sub-oval in shape, c.130m in length
and c.65m in width and is in an area of outcropping rock and heavy clitter on
the side of the tor; this combined with high bracken makes observation
difficult. The enclosure bank incorporates large natural boulders along the
north side and is up to 2m in width and on average 0.5m to 1m in height,
though the boulders are up to 2m in height. There are the remains of a
subdivision at the western end, with a hut 10m in diameter in the junction
between the main bank and that of the subdivision. There are at least seven
other hut circles in the enclosure, all of them freestanding and up to 10m in
diameter with walls up to 1m in thickness and 0.5m in height. The north bank
has been incorporated in later intake walling.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and,
because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most
complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The
great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provides direct evidence
for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards.
The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites,
major land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as
later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes
in the pattern of land use through time.

Within the landscape of Dartmoor there are many discrete plots of land
enclosed by stone walls or banks of stone and earth, most of which date to the
Bronze Age (c.2500-1000 BC), though earlier and later examples also exist.
They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop growing and
were sometimes subdivided to accommodate stock and hut circle dwellings for
farmers and herdsmen. The size and form of enclosures may therefore vary
considerably depending on their particular function. Their variation in form,
longevity and relationship to other monument classes provide important
information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices
amongst prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of
their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

This enclosure with hut circles is one of several enclosures in the vicinity
of Eastern Tor.

Source: Historic England


SX56NE-026, REF SX56NE-026, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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